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Electro-autotrophic synthesis of higher alcohols

United States Patent

October 6, 2015
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
The disclosure provides a process that converts CO.sub.2 to higher alcohols (e.g. isobutanol) using electricity as the energy source. This process stores electricity (e.g. from solar energy, nuclear energy, and the like) in liquid fuels that can be used as high octane number gasoline substitutes. Instead of deriving reducing power from photosynthesis, this process derives reducing power from electrically generated mediators, either H.sub.2 or formate. H.sub.2 can be derived from electrolysis of water. Formate can be generated by electrochemical reduction of CO.sub.2. After delivering the reducing power in the cell, formate becomes CO.sub.2 and recycles back. Therefore, the biological CO.sub.2 fixation process can occur in the dark.
Liao; James C. (Los Angeles, CA), Cho; Kwang Myung (Los Angeles, CA)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
13/ 522,288
January 15, 2011
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. DE-AR0000085awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.